Carlsberg gets profit rise from Russian beer sellers

 @ibtimes
on December 17 2009 6:00 AM

Danish brewer Carlsberg said moves by Russian beer sellers to stock up before a tax hike takes effect next year will boost its 2009 operating profit by close to $60 million.

The world's fourth-biggest brewer raised guidance to at least 9.3 billion crowns ($1.82 billion) from a previous forecast of at least 9.0 billion.

But it said the boost would be short-lived, as destocking is expected to wipe the same sum off profits in the first quarter of 2010.

Carlsberg said a November decision by the Russian parliament to increase beer excise duties by 200 percent from January 1, 2010, had led to stockbuilding in the distribution system in the last months of 2009, boosting its Russian volumes.

Carlsberg's Russian Q4 2009 volumes will be higher than previously expected, the company said in a statement.

Shares in Carlsberg fell 0.6 percent to 388.50 crowns by 0845 GMT.

In the short term they benefit from increased stocking. Relatively to the market, they benefit, but absolutely the market does not benefit, ING analyst Gerard Rijk said.

The stock building is expected to have a negative impact on working capital of about 300 million crowns due to higher accounts receivables, Carlsberg said, but it maintained its 2009 free cash flow forecast of at least 6.5 billion crowns.

Like the inventory impact, the negative working capital effect in the fourth quarter of 2009 will be reversed in the first quarter of 2010, it said.

(Reporting by John Acher and Peter Levring; editing by John Stonestreet)

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